Jun 06

Update: The solution described below still works using Amarok 2.3 under Ubuntu 10.10.

Having recently switched from Kubuntu to Ubuntu (from KDE to GNOME if you prefer), one of the first programs that I missed was Amarok!

I like keeping up to date with the latest releases, so I decided to go ahead and install Amarok 2 on my new Ubuntu 9.04 system..

Of course I started with the amarok package. You can find it or Synaptic or by Terminal:

$ sudo apt-get install amarok

I was prompted to download all the required dependencies and I did. Amarok was successfully installed, or so I thought!

I could run Amarok and I imported my music. I was then asked by the system to install a few extra packages in order to be able to play some restricted file types, like mp3. It all looked fine!

But to my disappointment, when trying to play a file I couldn’t listen to any music! I checked my system’s sound configuration and it all seemed OK. I was able to play the files on other multimedia players, listen to music on Firefox, etc.

To solve this problem, I needed to download and install two additional packages: libxine1-ffmpeg and phonon-backend-xine. Again you can find these on Synaptic, or just type in the Terminal:

$ sudo apt-get install libxine1-ffmpeg phonon-backend-xine

Now Amarok is working like a charm!

I know lots of users have complaints and demands from version 2, since version 1.4 was such a successful one. Amarok 1.4 was probably the best music player on the market. No matter what other player you compare it to, from any operating system.

I belong to that group of users too. Am hoping the developers of Amarok take user’s suggestions into consideration and implement all the neat stuff that made us love Amarok into newer releases. I believe this is already happening with the 2.1 release that was announced on June 3, 2009..

32 Responses to “Amarok 2 under Ubuntu”

  1. Alex Stan says:

    The solution is easy in ubuntu.

    All the rants about any media playback can be solved by installing the “ubuntu-restricted-extras” package.
    This provides mp3, video codecs, flash, windows fonts and java.

    PS: this package is probably also dependent on the packages you installed manually like that.
    PS2: You might be interested in amarok 2.1: http://www.kubuntu.org/news/amarok-2.1

  2. tetris4 says:

    Let me clear out that the main problem wasn’t the playback of specific files but that no sound was coming out of Amarok whatever the input file was.

    With the ubuntu-restricted-extras package installed on my system, this problem still occurres.
    And no, none of the above two packages is a dependency of the ubuntu-restricted-extras package.

    Thnx for the comment and for the link on Amarok 2.1, you probably didn’t notice that I mentioned it at the end of the post.


  3. joepastafari says:

    I had the same problem and found it to be quite annoying. I don’t know why “phonon-backend-xine” wasn’t installed automatically as a dependency, but it would have saved me ten minutes of searching for the solution.

  4. Robert says:

    Thanks for this short guide! I had exactly the same problem and could play mp3 with all other media players, but not Amarok.

    Didn’t know how to solve it and was thinking to install Kubuntu, but I’m glad I waited!!

    ps the design of your site is awesome

  5. lefty.crupps says:

    > Having recently switched from Kubuntu to Ubuntu
    > (from KDE to GNOME if you prefer)

    I absolutely do *not* prefer — why would you DO that to yourself?? πŸ˜‰

  6. tetris4 says:

    I actually bothered to upload this post cause it took me some time to find a solution to the problem. Am happy to see that it helped!

    As for the KDE vs GNOME hint, am not getting into that, I like both for what they do best! πŸ™‚

  7. Kris says:

    Thanks for sharing this, it just helped me out. I too find it odd that these two packages aren’t a dependency of Amarok, considering that it wouldn’t play anything without them!

  8. Rohan Kapoor says:

    Saved my Amarok! Thanks a lot!

  9. Walid says:

    Thanks! it worked

  10. rhanna says:

    Tetris4 your solution worked thanx!

  11. ajay says:

    thnx a lot….

  12. Vishal says:

    thanx a lot … that is what i needed and it works awesome now….. thank you thank you thank you

  13. oldwinXPuser says:

    It worked great. Thanks for the info.

  14. Tim says:

    Great post, all my music is now working in Amarok 2.1.1 under Ubuntu 9.04! I had the same problem, restricted-extras installed as well as libxine1-ffmpeg but nothing would play. Turns out it was the phonon-backend-xine I was missing. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Keep up the good work πŸ™‚

  15. Carson says:

    I hate to be a debbie downer, but this didn’t change a thing for me…
    libxine1-ffmpeg is already set to the newest version, is set to be manually installed
    phonon-backend-xine is already the newest version.

    I’m very new to anything other than windows (thank God I got out of that.) so I could easily just be missing something very simple. Any idea what it is?

  16. tetris4 says:

    What version of Ubuntu and Amarok are you running? Are you sure you are experiencing the same problem as above? Do you have everything correctly installed?
    For starters, try removing Amarok and these packages and reinstalling them, to see if the problem persists.

  17. Kwanda says:

    Worked for me thx a mill
    sudo apt-get install libxine1-ffmpeg phonon-backend-xine

  18. Sava says:


    I have ubuntu 9.10 and the fix bellow works me too

    sudo apt-get install libxine1-ffmpeg phonon-backend-xine


  19. Caraka says:

    Just found this useful post – thanks.

    Just want to point out that for whatever reason, the phonon package is now installing with amarok, but the libxine1-ffmpeg is not.

    Still, cutting and pasting your command checks for them both. Thanks for the post!

  20. xavier says:

    After installing libxine1-ffmpeg phonon-backend-xine, and it still does not work, try installing also
    sudo apt-get install libxine1-plugins

    Thats what got my Amarok working for me.

  21. Monica says:

    I tried everything listed above, but I keep getting “…*.plugins is already the newest version” but still no sound coming out of Amarok. I have Ubuntu 9.10, running in a Gnome desktop environment. I know that Amarok is KDE-friendly, but it is also supposed to run in Gnome. Thanks for any help!

  22. tetris4 says:

    Thnx for your addition, I hope users can benefit from it!

    You do have sound in the rest of the system right? If yes, proceed as described below. If not, then your problem is elsewhere.

    I mention again the procedure in case you missed a step. I would suggest deleting everything and trying again to double-check. πŸ™‚
    1> Install Amarok 2.*
    2> Install the libxine1-ffmpeg package
    3> Install the phonon-backend-xine package
    4> Install the libxine1-plugins package (as xavier suggested above)

    If you still can’t get any sound, try doing this:
    – Go to Amarok>Settings>Configure Amarok
    – Select Playback tab on the left and then Configure under Sound System Configuration
    – In the new window open the Backend tab and make sure Xine is selected there. If not, enable it (prefer). Check the playback after this, if you still can’t hear anything, you can try playing around with other available Backend’s if any and see what happens.

    Hope this helps. Let me know how it goes!

  23. David says:

    Thanks – works great!

  24. Bishwa says:

    I went through various reviews about amorak and what I find that everyone says this new Amarok moonshine is awesome. I too wanted to give a try. I installed it and a problem got into my laptop. All the sounds were off and the genome alsamixer indicate dummy output stereo and there was no sound.
    It took me 2 days to fix the problem. I want to upgrade to amarok because it has i-pod and i-phone compatibility and I want to transfer data to/from my i-phone.

    Can any body help me get sound in amarok. I have got it installed but there is no sound but the media keeps playing. Is there conflict in sound card use between amarok and Rhythmbox. Another problem about amarok, how can I add music files to the library from D: & E: as while adding the music files in amarok it has access only home direcory.

    Thanks, in advance for any solution.

    My laptop cofig:

  25. tetris4 says:

    Hi Bishwa,

    Did you try following the procedure I posted 2 comments above?
    If your sound works in the rest of the applications under Ubuntu, doing that should allow you to playback music files with Amarok just fine.

    Regarding adding music files to the library from other partitions, if these partitions are mounted, then you shouldn’t normally have any problem adding those partitions to Amarok’s library.

    If you still have troubles let me know.

  26. Rich Byrne says:

    Below worked perfectly.

    Thank you

    To solve this problem, I needed to download and install two additional packages: libxine1-ffmpeg and phonon-backend-xine. Again you can find these on Synaptic, or just type in the Terminal:

    $ sudo apt-get install libxine1-ffmpeg phonon-backend-xine

    Now Amarok is working like a charm!

  27. Bishwa says:

    I got it fixed dude after the 3rd try. Thank you so much.
    Well it is said linux isnot affected by virus, but we user ourselves work as a virus.
    Any typos or wrong command in the terminal will certainly bring problem and there is no way out except for asking in the ubunty community forum (the antiviruses).
    Ha ha….

    Thankyou so much.

    I got my ubuntu OS (fomatted and installed 3 times) and software (sound/ genome panel/ applet) broken and fixed 25 times in this 6 days time.
    I am really learning.

  28. tetris4 says:

    You are both welcome.
    Am very glad to hear that this post still helps people get Amarok work, since both Amarok and Ubuntu seem to be in very active development nowadays. =)

    Am pretty much self-tought also on GNU/Linux, learning is always a pleasure. Breaking stuff helps learning a lot btw! hehe..

  29. Bishwa says:

    @tetris4: Well, there is much more I want to learn. Can you suggest me some web designing software that can be run in linux. And I want to give office 2010 in linux. Does it work.


  30. tetris4 says:

    @Bishwa: Unfortunately I have no knowledge regarding web design so I can’t be of much help on that. As for office 2010, am pretty confident it should run from Wine, but I prefer to use FLOSS alternatives, like LibreOffice. =)

  31. Harisankar H says:

    @tetris4 For me in Ubuntu10.10 it worked when I preferred Gstreamer instead of Xine. But, it think I installed some gstreamer phonon plugin which I don’t rememeber now

  32. tetris4 says:

    @Harisankar H
    Thnx for the tip. If you find out what exactly made it work, please drop by and leave us a comment. =)

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